Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Bad Times

There is a book that I am reading, “Read for Your Life”, by Joseph Gold. I reminded me of the time when I first got married. It was a terrible time. I got depressed just being reminded of it. Just before that book, I was reading “My Navy Too” by Beth F. Coye Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.). That book is a novel but closely modeled on the author’s experiences as an officer in the American Navy. I stopped reading this book which I don’t think is well written, but also because it reminds me of my experiences in the U.S.Army just before I got married. I hated the military and while I was there had become ill and no one would listen to me. The military got everything wrong including my blood type. I never felt so alone and I was sick.

When I am feeling down or depressed, I know there is something that I need to write about, something I left in an old chapter in my life that is unfinished and left unsaid to myself. Heavens knows I was both very happy at the coming birth of my first child but very ill. I would tell the doctor how ill I was and describe the symptoms and the doctors would ignore me and ascribe my fears to my feelings as a woman. I knew different. I knew I was very ill. Then I saw how my in-laws disliked me. They called me names in Spanish and I would explain to them I knew what they meant. They didn’t care and continued to call me names. My husband would not defend me. My husband was becoming very uncommunicative. I had no friends or relatives in Kansas. I was scared. I was desperately unhappy.

My child was born and I became even more ill. Some military nurses in their meanness had me thrown out of the U.S. Air Force hospital. Women in the military are very mean. I thought I might be dying and had no insurance and at that point I gave up. My husband did what his father told him to do and took me to the Veterans Hospital. His father worked there. I met a wonderful doctor who saw me on Thursday and I was in emergency surgery on Tuesday. I had a serious cancer that killed most people in those days, but he saved my life. I didn’t even know I could use the VA Hospital. During surgery, I almost bled to death. Dan was not there for he refused to get off work after I begged him to for six hours. I knew how serious it was. I was alone except for that remarkable doctor.

I had to live for 12 months to see if the cancer came back. It didn’t. My spouse became more and more emotionally distant. He was doing mean and twisted things and then denying that he did them. I was so confused. I wanted to believe in his goodness while seeing the evil in him. I lived in a city that I hated and we were so poor. I could not find employment and when I did the babysitting ate up my check. I decided to go back to school as it included the GI Bill. Then in the middle of it, I found out I qualified for Chapter 31 which was a lot better than the GI Bill which did not pay for college fees and books. I went to the University of Kansas. Things began to look up as far as money was concerned but my husband was getting more and more emotionally abusive. I could feel my mental health falling apart.

The process of those times continued until Dan went to my house and purged it last year. The bad things that happened such as Dan taking me to the VA at the urging of his father saved my life. The purging of my house sent me here. All that helped me find happiness here and a gate to my final leg of my life has been open. But it was a very bad time when I was in the service and when I left the service and married my spouse.

I can still feel the depression of those times as I did when I started to describe it in here. Yes, it worked out and I ended up being the better for it; but the damage of those actions of others were still inside of me just festering. I can’t say I feel anger as much as I feel hurt and pain. I rarely trust people. I had learned to trust him and he was not worthy of my trust. I had two children. I suddenly found myself in the same situation that my mother was in when I was a kid. I did something my mother did not do. I walked out, but I did not sever the connection with him. He continue to emotionally abuse him over the years. I cannot tell you the number of times I would find myself in shock after he did something that seemed so unbelievably cruel. I would then “forget it”.

I know why I left Redding. If I did not leave my house, I would not have survived. I was going back to those dark places I was in when I was discharged from the service. My adult children had learned only too well from their father his behavior patterns. What he did to me, they were doing to me as well. I ended up blaming myself for their treatment of me as I blamed my own husband’s treatment of me. I had to put one foot in front of the other and leave. My bliss in finding myself free of them is proof that I did the right thing. I still feel so bad for allowing an abuser to have so much control over my life and my children back in the early years. All I can do is pray for mental health, forgiveness for me and my sons. I wish I could have woke up earlier. That is what abuse does. It blinds you. At least I am not allowing them to do it anymore. That is a step in the right direction.

I don’t know what else I can do. Maybe taking responsibility for what others do is not the answer. Look at what my behavior has done to my adult children so far. They need to examine their own behavior and take responsibility themselves. My oldest told me not long before I left Redding that it was my fault that my youngest was the way he is now. They are both middle aged. I told him that makes as much sense as my blaming my parents for what I do now. Yes, my parents abused me severely, but what I do with what life now is up to me. I need to let my adult children take that gift of self-responsibility that I took for myself as well and do what I did. Take control of their lives and not blame others. It is better late than never and I am alive to tell them what I should have showed them years ago. I can only do the best I can do now. I protected them too much from themselves. I need to stop doing this. I moved here for my sake but for theirs too.

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